The Perfect Party: April 2012

The guests we’d most like at our dinner table this month.

Edited by Zach Dundas March 23, 2012 Published in the April 2012 issue of Portland Monthly

Image: Michael Novak

ERIN JANSSENS We’ll serve flambé steak to honor Portland’s first female fire chief. As this 47-year-old Fire Bureau veteran takes command in June, the department clambers up the equity ladder. Back in ’88, Janssens joined a force that had few women. And the firehouses? Man-caves. Erin, you seem like a great leader. Stand by while we torch this meat. We’ve never done this before.

NIKOLAS HARBAR AND STEPHANIE PELZNER Pull up two chairs (restraints optional) for these funsters, busted on Valentine’s Day when their role-play went “too far.” She was allegedly nude and tied up in the back of a Subaru; he was at the wheel. Cops took a dim view, but we think that’s just postmodern Puritanism. Guys, let’s spice this party up, shall we?

CHERYL STRAYED Speaking of romance, we’ll pour something sparkling for Strayed, the 43-year-old Portland author who outed herself as the beloved advice columnist Dear Sugar. Her frank writing for The Rumpus made her a sensation among the national literati; we bet her forthcoming Sugar book will be a populist smash. Settle in, darling—we’ve got puh-lenty we need your help with.

CLINT EASTWOOD AND MATTHEW DICKMAN We are still revving our metaphorical engines after Dirty Harry’s two-minute Super Bowl halftime ad for Chrysler, scripted in part by Portland poet Dickman and created by Wieden & Kennedy. Eastwood’s growl evoked economic crisis, national renewal, and (as subtext) our need to buy a Town & Country. Karl Rove called the spot a veiled Obama ad. You think so, Turdblossom? Make our day. USA!

PACKY We’ll open a window for the Oregon Zoo’s signature Asian elephant, who turns 50 this month. Packy, our dining room—to say nothing of our septic system—wasn’t designed for you, but stick a trunk in and have some cake. And watch the begonias.

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